Earlier this week, a video showing a group of passengers arguing with a team of MAS' Customer Service Agents at the KLIA transit counter went viral on Facebook. As seen in the video, there were expletives exchanged between the passengers and MAS staff:
It was initially believed that the incident happened in Singapore.
Today, 7 May 2015, MAS released an official statement regarding the incident that, according to the statement, occurred on 1 May. The statement, posted on Malaysia Airlines' FB page, reads:
"A team of Malaysia Airlines’ Customer Service Agents were attending to 30 connecting passengers from Singapore to Hyderabad and Bangalore on 1 May 2015 at the KL International Airport (KLIA) transit counter.
The passengers were originally booked on MH616 (from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur) when immediate technical rectification work needed to be carried out on the aircraft. They were then transferred to a later flight on MH610 (Singapore to Kuala Lumpur), in which the 30 passengers missed their various connecting flights at KLIA."
The statement further states that:
"The airline had in advance, prepared hotel accommodation as well as transportation required, for the affected passengers and rebooked them on the next available flights. However, the passengers demanded to be transferred onto their scheduled connecting flight to Hyderabad and Bangalore, all of which by then had already departed KLIA. These passengers also demanded to be rebooked on another carrier based in KLIA2."
On what caused the heated verbal exchange, MAS says:
"Due to immigration requirements, some of the passengers were denied entry into Malaysia without prior Visa application, hence this has limited Malaysia Airlines’ ability to facilitate the second demand. This resulted in the ensuing strong verbal exchanges."
Later its Duty Manager stepped in to calm the passengers
"Upon being alerted of the commotion, the airline’s Duty Manager stepped in to calm the passengers and explained the situation, then later proceeded to make arrangements that were within Malaysia Airlines’ capacity. The affected passengers finally acceded to the arrangement made by the Duty Manager, after which, they boarded their flight to their intended destinations the next day."
Considering the seriousness of the matter, an internal investigation has been carried out by MAS. "Whilst the airline has high regards to the code of conduct of its employees, the airline does not condone abusive behaviours by passengers," reads the statement.